eFC Briefing: The Last Man Standing

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New York City launched a $45 million program to retrain people like investment bankers and traders and help them start new businesses. In Washington, Congress allotted $350 million for a variety of governmental watchdog agencies to oversee how the $787 billion stimulus in funds are being spent. That should create many new jobs for auditors, investigators and lawyers.

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New York City wants to keep financial talent, whatever happens to the investment business. The city announced a $45 million program to retrain people like investment bankers and traders, and help them find seed capital and even office space, for new businesses they might start.

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Additional jobs for government auditors, investigators and lawyers look to be among the first visible results of the $787 billion stimulus plan signed into law last week. That legislation directs more than $350 million of new spending for oversight of the various programs - "virtually guaranteeing boom times in the field of government accountability," the New York Times says. That's seven times as much money as Congress allocated last fall for a new office to monitor spending for the bank sector bailout.

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Companies are still filling openings when they need to, but more from within.CareerXRoads found 38.8 percent of all new "hires" were actually internal transfers or promotions, the highest level since the firm began its annual survey on hiring sources eight years ago.

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The market meltdown combined with high-profile hedge fund swindles are giving personal financial advisers a heavy dose of the pain their clients feel in their portfolios. Cratering asset values directly compress fee income for the large universe of personal wealth managers, who charge clients a percentage of the assets they manage. In other cases, clients hit with shrinking net worth are asking advisers to reduce fees.

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The New York State Comptroller's estimate of Wall Street's bonus pie had a major impact on the compensation debate in Congress and the news media. But in all likelihood, it far understates the true number. The $18.4 billion figure released Jan. 28 by Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli, "is neither precise nor complete, (and) is probably an underestimate," writes Wall Street Journal "Numbers Guy" columnist Carl Bialik.

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Also noted:

Meredith Whitney leaves Oppenheimer to start her own firm [Reuters]

Thain Ordered Back for Questioning [WSJ]

Morgan Stanley cuts back prime brokerage in Chicago [Invest

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